Pemphigus Vulgaris

Pemphigus Vulgaris,

What is pemphigus vulgaris (PV)?

Pemphigus vulgaris (PEMM-fig-uss vull-GAR-iss) is an exceedingly painful autoimmune skin disease.  It is a rare condition that affects nearly 50,000 people worldwide.

Men and women of all ages suffer from pemphigus vulgaris.  It usually appears in middle-aged adults and seniors, but it affects children as well.

Pemphigus vulgaris is part of a group of blistering skin diseases that includes bullous pemphigoid, pemphigus foliaceus, dyshidrosis, dermatitis herpetiformis, and erythema multiformes.  It is, however, distinct from these conditions.

Symptoms of pemphigus vulgaris

Pemphigus vulgaris symptoms include blistering skin lesions and sores that weep, ooze, and peel.  These blisters can rupture, leaving open wounds that increase the risk of serious skin infections and sepsis (an infection of the blood).  Oral pemphigus vulgaris sores can form on the inside of the mouth, making it very difficult to eat and drink.  This may result in severe dehydration for those suffering this debilitating skin disease.

Symptoms may occasionally disappear however, the painful blisters and skin rashes will usually return if untreated.  This is because pemphigus vulgaris is a chronic skin condition.  Prolonged discomfort is an unfortunate fact of life for those who have this disease.

Causes of pemphigus vulgaris

Pemphigus vulgaris is one of many autoimmune diseases of the skin.  When functioning properly, your immune system protects you by fighting illnesses, tumours and infections.  If you have pemphigus vulgaris, your immune system targets your skin, causing these painful blisters that can form anywhere on the body.

Research studies suggest pemphigus vulgaris is a genetic disease.  As a result, if your parents or other family members are affected, you may be at a higher risk of developing pemphigus vulgaris compared with the general population.

Can pemphigus vulgaris be cured?

Currently, there is no known cure for pemphigus vulgaris.  However, Dermatologists are working to expand the treatment options available for this rare skin disease.      

Treatment of pemphigus vulgaris

Clinical trials are underway to see if newly developed medications can improve the health and quality of life of those living with pemphigus vulgaris.

Ongoing pemphigus vulgaris research is extremely important, as the infections associated with this autoimmune skin disease can be fatal.  There is an urgent need for new medications and improved treatment strategies, as traditionally available pemphigus vulgaris treatments have been shown to produce serious side-effects and in some cases be ineffective.

Current studies


  • Sorry no studies are available in this country.


  • Sorry no studies are available in this country.


  • Sorry no studies are available in this country.


  • Sorry no studies are available in this country.


  • Sorry no studies are available in this country.


  • Sorry no studies are available in this country.

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